Maybe it wasn’t what you planned. Maybe you got blindsided. Maybe you were tricked. Or maybe you didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. No matter how it happened, here you are, dating a sports fan.

There are some important things to look out for when you are dating a sports fan. Especially if they are more than a casual observer of athletic competition. Life is going to hit some bumps. Moods are going to get out of control. Things will be said that both of you wish could be taken back. Like it or not, it’s going to get messy.

Two of the first things that you need to understand if you are going to date a sports fan is that there are going to be massive mood swings and heartbreak on an ongoing basis. Sometimes you may be able to understand it (ie. a playoff loss) and other times you will have no idea what the big deal is (ie. random Tuesday night loss). As a sports fan (and a big one) I can tell you that those nights can be prepared for in most circumtances. If you pay enough attention to know that the playoffs are in action, or that your S/O’s fav team is playing their biggest rival, you can be ready for the potential fallout. When it happens – and it will – try to keep these tips in mind.

1) Try not to laugh. If you’re not a fan you may not understand how personal these things can feel. It hurts like a punch to the stomach and your 3rd grade crush kissing another boy at the monkey bars all at the same time. Laughter is not going to help the situation.

2) Don’t tell your partner how cute they look. Trust me, I’ve heard this one and it did not help. I don’t need to hear that I look adorable as I stand in stunned silence and aching sadness after a game 7 playoff loss. I need to be told that the Boston Bruins are bums and got lucky and that you’re going to make me feel better.

3) Give them a break. I’m not saying that you need to wait on them hand and foot. But be nice. Maybe grab them a drink and tell them how great they are. The feeling of UGH will fade, but it will take a little time. Just ride it out.

After the emotional compontent you need to factor in the time commitment involved in being a serious sports fan. Some fans cheer for one team or have one favourite sport. Others (like myself) are sports junkies and can be found following scores of all sports at all times and probably have a fav team in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, college sports and more. Being dedicated to those teams takes a lot of time. Seasons overlap, games are played 7 days a week and sometimes it can seem like a lot. The best thing I can recommend to you is this – put together some sort of agreement for watching sports together from time to time AND make sure that your S/O has an app like The Score Mobile on their smartphone so that they can check scores and stay sane when you are doing something other than sitting on the couch or a bar stool. I’ve written about some ideas that can be used, feel free to check them out

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide

The March Madness Widow Survival Guide 2.0

Watching Sports With Your Wife/Girlfriend – A Guide

In the end all sports fans and all relationships are going to be different. But, if you can find out how deep your S/O is in you will have a better chance of calmly and humorously dealing with situations.

Good luck, there are times when you’re going to need it.